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21 SEP 2023 (THU) 16:00-17:30

Updated: Oct 6, 2023

China Development Studies Elite Seminar Series

Theorising with urban China: Methodological and tactical experiments for a more global urban studies

Date: 21 SEP 2023 (Thursday)

Time: 16:00-17:30 (HKT)

Venue: Chamber, Faculty of Social Sciences, 11/F, The Jockey Club Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU

Registration link:



Despite global academic interest, the field of urban China continues to be dominated by exceptionalist theorising. Given that the unique properties of Chinese urbanisation present rich cases for an engaged pluralism in urban studies, it is fruitful to theorise with urban China based on two methodological grounds: ‘thinking cities through elsewhere’ and conjunctural analysis. This opens space for mid-level theorisation, which has the potential to contribute to the revision of existing theoretical frameworks or create new starting points for analysis and conceptualisation. One way to do so is to stress-test the explanatory veracity of multiple ‘already-given’ Northern concepts in a single urban China case, with a dual focus on exposing each concept’s blind spots and exploring whether and how these theories can come together to overcome their respective limits.

Dr. Calvin Chung

Assistant Professor, Department of Geography and Resource Management, CUHK

Speaker Bio:

Calvin Chung is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Geography and Resource Management, The Chinese University of Hong Kong. An urban geography by training, he is interested in the material and discursive politics of urban environmental governance, especially as it intersects with spatial planning. He has actively published in international journals, most recently including Dialogues in Human Geography, Progress in Human Geography, The Professional Geographer and Urban Geography. He is an associate editor of Asian Geographer.


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